Archives for January 2014 | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Responding to the Rain | Freeman Seattle

Jan 20th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Outerwear, Seattle | by Jake Gallagher


It rains almost every other day in Seattle, and if trends are any indicator, it’s only going to get worse.

When that threat of rain looms over your head like a Charlie Brown-esque cartoon storm cloud at all times, there’s only two things you can do. You can move, or you can fight back.

The team behind Freeman (no affiliation with New York’s Freeman’s Sporting Club) decided to stand their ground by battling Seattle’s ever-present precipitation with a better raincoat. This meant a jacket that wasn’t just waterproof, but also wouldn’t make someone look like they’re about to scale Kilimanjaro. Sure, a technically advanced jacket might “work,” but it might also be better suited for the ski slopes than a city street.


Yesterday’s Greatest Golden Bear Collaborations

Jan 17th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Outerwear | by Jake Gallagher


Born on the bay in 1922, Golden Bear’s original intention was to clothe the dockworkers that labored day and night at the port of San Francisco. Temperatures out near the water used to plummet on those foggy California nights, but those longshoremen still had to get the job done, so Golden Bear’s jackets became their armor, shielding them from the crisp air coming off the sea.

Today, much of Golden Bear’s clientele is less concerned with the jackets utilitarian merits, and more focused on their aesthetic properties, as the varsity jackets and bombers that comprise the brand’s collections have become highly sought after once again. Where Golden Bear truly thrives is in their countless collaborations that they rack up each year. Brands and stores from all over the map make the pilgrimage to California to work in partnership with Golden Bear to create truly unique renditions of the brand’s time-tested outerwear. Last year Golden Bear was particularly busy, and so we decided to round-up its best collaboration collections of recent memory.

Remembering Abercrombie & Fitch for What It Was

Jan 13th, 2014 | Categories: History, Hunting & Fishing, Jake Gallagher, Men's Stores, New York City | by Jake Gallagher


Despite the shameful mall brand that it has morphed into over the past couple decades, there was a time when Abercrombie & Fitch was great. More than great even, Abercrombie & Fitch was important, a brand that was as integral to our country’s culture of clothing as it was to our culture as a whole. This was a company that outfitted presidents and pioneers, authors and actors, explorers and icons. Today, the Abercrombie & Fitch clientele is decidedly less illustrious, and their products are about as American as a three Yuan bill. I oft wonder how many shoppers even realize that Abercrombie & Fitch were real people to begin with? Then again, it would be wrong to fault anyone for overlooking the real Abercrombie & Fitch. After all the philosophy upon which these two gentleman built their brand is wholly absent from the stores that bear their names today.

Mystery Ranch | The Apex of Packs

Jan 9th, 2014 | Categories: Al James, Bags, Made in the USA | by Al James


His name has been mentioned on this site before, but it bears repeating: Dana Gleason. He founded Kletterwerks in the 70s, then created (and eventually sold) the infamous backpack behemoth Dana Design. Since 2000 he’s been designing and hand-building backpacks in Bozeman, Montana under the name Mystery Ranch. They are the best packs he’s ever made and arguably some of the best packs available for purchase. Decades of research and experience go into each model and they are all absolute workhorses. Every Mystery Ranch pack is designed specifically for the unique tasks required of soldiers, firefighters, rescue professionals, hunters and mountain climbers.

This winter I bought a Mystery Ranch ASAP daypack for steelhead fishing in the Northwest. I stared into my closet full of canvas totes, weekend duffels and clever work briefcases and realized I had nothing that was suitable for hiking and bushwhacking into coastal steelhead streams with enough room for a day’s worth of extra layers, a lunch, a first aid kit, fly boxes and other fishing tackle. After a bit of research I landed at Mystery Ranch. What sold me on the ASAP was not only the waterproof 3-Zip design, but also the internal pocket configuration that takes the guess work out of accessing gear when it’s open. It has a built-in large hydration port, a grid of PAL webbing for lashing on an additional rod case and comes in 3 standard sizes and 4 colors options – multicam, black, coyote and foliage.

Upstarts to All Stars | A Conversation with Ovadia & Sons

Jan 3rd, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher


As Ariel Ovadia greets me outside the Mercer Hotel a few days before Thanksgiving he’s dressed in a brass button pea coat and Nike Flyknits. His brother Shimon arrives a few minutes later, wearing a black hoodie, a herringbone walking coat, and a pair of Vans Eras. As our conversation progresses, I realize that these two outfits perfectly capture the collective mindset of the twin tag team behind Ovadia & Sons Since emerging on the scene in the late aughts with a heavily vintage inspired style that instantly made them the neo-icons of the budding #menswear set, the Ovadia’s have evolved into a formidable force of the fashion world. As men’s style, by and large, has headed toward a more open acceptance of that capital F word, the brothers Ovadia have lead the charge, experimenting with more forward thinking designs, without alienating their rabid fan base. I sat down with Ariel and Shimon to discuss their progression as designers, the role of vintage objects in their collections, and what to expect from their next collection. Words by Jake Gallagher.